CALEXICO - It is that time of the year. With just two weeks left until Christmas, the city of Calexico showed their Christmas spirit by hosting their annual Calexico Christmas Parade.
With the sound of Calexico High School Band leading the way and Grand Marshall Gina Cruz Blackledge waving at the thousands in attendance, the Christmas Celebration began.
Imperial Highway was the place to be to witness the dozens of beautiful floats and performances.
Aldo Silva was one of those in attendance. He has been coming to the parade for as long as he can remember. He is now passing the tradition on to his children.
"It's a crucial part of my life", he says. "Like it was in my life when I was young, now for them it's pretty special that they experience stuff like this because later on, they'll be my age and they'll be able to explain it to their kids and it's just a tradition".
This year's theme was a Pink Christmas in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Many of the floats were decorated with pink ribbons and those on board also sported their pink attire to promote and bring awareness to the disease.
Unlike Aldo, this is Laura Hartsocks' first time at the Calexico Christmas Parade. She says that it was an unforgettable experience.
"It is a Christmas season and everything is forgotten", she says. "The day's beautiful, the Imperial Valley is great, everybody's out here having a good time and that's why I'm here and it is great just to sit here and enjoy the sun, enjoy the people, and enjoy this interview, this is cool".
Besides all the local schools and organizations being represented, the parade also featured schools from right across the border in Mexicali.
For Humberto & Dora Robles, the annual parade means more than just the one-day celebration. The fact that family, faith and tradition can all come together all at once is very special to them.
"I think this is a very special moment for the City of Calexico", he says. "To be able to come out and be a united community, especially during this Christmas Season. To not only not lose the tradition but to not lose what the symbolism of Christmas really is".
Aldo says that the parade and the holidays give the community the opportunity to forget about their problems and just enjoy the moment.
"Takes your mind off of whatever the economy is going through", he says. "But at the same time, the holidays are here so you can't nothing about the economy. The holidays never go anywhere. You gotta keep the rhythm going".
And with the sight of the many creative and colorful floats, another Christmas Parade was in the books… until next year, when the celebration will almost for sure be bigger and better.
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